Boise, Idaho — The Idaho Freedom Foundation’s Taxpayer Budget, released today, gives Idaho families and small businesses $200 million in tax relief, invests in roads and adds to rainy day accounts.
The Taxpayers Budget, created by IFF Vice President Fred Birnbaum, also suspends the defective teachers career ladder, but gives educators an across-the-board pay raise.
“By simply holding spending to sensible, conservative levels, state legislators open numerous opportunities to invest in key programs and provide much-needed tax relief,” Birnbaum said.
By holding state spending to a respectable 3.1 percent hike, IFF’s Taxpayers Budget allows for strategic investments, including $60 million for road repairs and upgrades.
The budget blueprint also opens the door for $200 million in tax relief, which lawmakers have failed to give during the past few years. IFF’s document doesn’t proscribe which taxes could be cut, though income or personal property tax reductions would create a more favorable business climate and give relief to Idahoans, who saw their gas taxes and vehicle registration fees increase in 2015.
“Legislators have a real opportunity to put Idaho’s taxpayers first, but that will require push-back against special interests defending the status quo,” Birnbaum said. “Our hope is that lawmakers are willing to buck the trend of growing government faster than the overall economy.”
During the 2016 session, state lawmakers added more than $200 million to the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriation, an increase of more than 8 percent. The IFF Taxpayers Budget increases spending about $100 million above FY 2017 levels.
IFF Vice President Fred Birnbaum asserts, “Our budget proves that if lawmakers restrain the rate of spending growth, they can balance the budget, provide money for schools, public safety, and transportation while cutting taxes.” He added, “To hold the line on spending will require political backbone. Lawmakers will have to prioritize.”